Wednesday 23rd September 2015
Here is our jungle “campsite” in the early morning, with the rain cover above each hammock.
We started walking into the jungle around 6am.
One of the most exciting thing was to see monkeys, even if they were quite far. This shot is the only decent one I got, as otherwise they were moving pretty fast!!
Zooming on the picture.
At some point in our walk, Franck suggested we chop a palm tree to eat its heart. He asked Nick if he wanted to chop it with the machete, and then Nick started.
It took quite a while, so Katie and Rachel got out their sock monkey to take a picture of him in the jungle. They have a really cool travel blog you can find here which tells the adventures of this sock monkey: https://asmtale.wordpress.com/
I asked if Juanitette could pose with the monkey, she was happy, for once she had a friend!!! 😀
While we were having fun taking those shots, the palm tree was cut and Franck started peeling the various layers of the trunk in order to get to the heart of the palm tree which can be eaten. I was amazed at how few you can eat on a palm tree. In Western countries it is now very common to find “palm tree heart” in stores to eat. Crazy to think though that in order to eat just that tiny piece, you have to chop an entire tree and peel all those layers to get to the comestible part!
Franck showed us how the other parts could be used to write on them.
Later, we ran into this plant. Wonder what these berries are. So many things we don`t know the name of! Probably not eatable though.
I like how plants can have so various shapes. Those leaves for example are funny, splitting in two like this at their edge.
This tree is called “monkey stairs” because of its shape which helps the monkey climb up.
Jana spotted that stick insect! I had seen some in Western Australia near bush fires, and a few in Eastern Australia, but not often. This one was pretty big and colorful compared to the ones I had seen.
We continued walking through the jungle.
Another type of leaf with 4 splits. This one is actually used to make roofs.
And another one again.
Beto was carrying his gun that day, in case we would run into a jaguar. Just the idea was exotic. Hey, what if we ran into a jaguar??!
We arrived at a cleared spot where we had some avocado slices and tomato slices on white bread as breakfast with some juice we had brought. There were three men were working on creating branches which could be sold to make roofs with the leaf with 4 splits we had seen before. I counted that each branch had about 300 leaves on it. The man told us that it was taking him about 20-30 minutes to make a branch and he would sell it later for 5 soles (about 1.55 USD). They were staying here for 2 weeks and making about 90 branches each in 2 weeks. Then they would go back to their villages and sell them. They were not working all year long, probably just when the village needed some new roofs or roof replacement.
Here were the leaves they had collected in the forest and put together, ready to be used to create that roof branch.
Here is how a roof branch looked when the leaves were dried.
There we tried the milk fruit, which they were also collecting from the jungle and selling later.
We left the place and started walking back to our campsite. We tried this fruit too which was a bit lemony.
We arrived to the campground around 10.30am and were exhausted. We had never sweat as much in our life as that morning, we were completely soaked.
Some went for a swim, with Jana and Stefan we just sat there cooling / drying down. While they went for a swim, Franck, Yair, Beto and Fernand made fishing rods. Around noon, we went fishing. We better catch something otherwise there would be no lunch today! 🙂 We split in two boats. Jana, Stefan, Miriam and Nick went with Franck and Beto and Katie, Rachel and me went with Yair and Fernand.
The end of the fishing rod, quite basic, but it worked out!
Ready for it! Let`s catch lunch!
Fernand fished a catfish, I got a small one too which we used as bait.
Rachel got that piranha and another one later, two or three fishes in total, I forgot!
The fish I got went straight into the bottom of the boat and was impossible to grab as it was so slippery.
Katie got another type of piranha fish.
Fernand got this fish, which was huged, the biggest any of the two boats got, he was very happy!
We went back around 2pm and it started raining. We all got our 3 soles ponchos on just bought on the morning of the first day, handy, while the guys got into cooking the fishes. We ate them standing in the rain which was decreasing. Mosquitoes were biting the hands like nuts and we had to stop and put more insect repellents to avoid being devored ourselves. The fishes were really good and we could see the various tastes between them.
Rubber boots, perfect shoes for the jungle! What a great invention!
Later on, there was less rain, we made a huge fire.
We sat around the fire and Franck told us stories of the jungle which involved animals, humans, spirits.
Sometimes it felt like fireflies were coming out of the fire, going pretty high, that was magical. We could sit there and watch that fire and listen to stories for ages.
We had some spaghetti bolognese for dinner and then retreated to the tents. It didn`t rain much that night.
Next day, back to the lodge and then back to Iquitos!